Tottenham Hotspur welcome 11th-place Chelsea to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday 6, November in the last game of Premier League Game week 11.
Not only will Tottenham welcome Chelsea, but the Lilywhites will also be visited by former boss Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino was dismissed from his appointment as Spurs coach in November 2019 and, famously never got to tell his players goodbye.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea: Fullbacks Key to Result
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Pochettino’s Plan and Chelsea’s Form
Chelsea’s form can be described as ‘patchy’ at best. They’d looked to have turned a corner with a thumping 4-1 win away to Burnley only to follow it up by throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Arsenal and then a miserable home defeat to Brentford.
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This isn’t to say that there isn’t something brewing at Stamford Bridge, however. They have been the biggest underperformers of xG in the league which suggests that they’re doing the right things, but they just aren’t scoring goals. It seems like only a matter of time before they come good and who knows if it may be on Monday.
Pochettino’s imprint on this Blues team is starting to be seen and the start that they’ve made, both playing style-wise and results-wise closely mirrors the start he made at Tottenham in 2014.
Reece James vs Brennan Johnson on Spurs Left Flank Could Be Match Decider
The fitness of club captain Reece James has been the greatest adversary of his career. He’s only started one game in the league this season but his potential battle with Brennan Johnson can be a key contest in this fixture. Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou famously uses inverted fullbacks, allowing his wide defenders to take up positions in field and force a midfield overload in an effort to gain the advantage. This is not a new tactic, but it’s one that his adversary does not employ.
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Instead, Pochettino uses his full-backs more traditionally, allowing them to maraud forward, make crosses and get close to the opposition box. This naturally, would be a challenge for Spurs as their fullbacks will now be dragged out to mark the Chelsea wide players.
Of course, with your fullbacks pushing up, it can leave room at the back unmanned, which a pacey winger like Johnson can look to exploit. The ex-Forrest man has looked promising whenever he has played for his new club and his explosive bursts of pace can be pivotal for his team getting a result and reclaiming their top spot.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Prediction
This could be one of the most memorable games of the season. Pochettino’s return to Spurs, managing one of their fiercest rivals can prove to have more of an impact than you’d imagine. Depending on the reception he receives from the Lilywhites faithful, the longer the game remains 0-0 could prove to show his state of mind. Substitutions will be key in this match, particularly if things for Chelsea aren’t going according to plan and the Argentine manager makes a rash decision.
In a tightly fought contest, we think Tottenham will just edge it with a 2-1 win. Son with both goals while Bissouma and Johnson put in stand-out performances.